SOLIHULL fell silent to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine.
There was a minute’s silence held across the borough and the Ukrainian flag was raised at Solihull Council House on February 24 to remember the tens of thousands who have lost their lives and millions who haven been torn away from their homes, families, schools and friends.
Councillor Ian Courts, Solihull Council leader, has reflected on how this ‘dreadful conflict’ has bought out ‘the very best that the human spirit can offer’ as Silhillians sent items to those fleeing and opened their homes to refugees.
In his weekly message Coun Courts said: “We have, of course, also seen generosity and solidarity on a local and individual level, as people have given generously to charitable appeals, travelled to Ukraine on humanitarian missions (where eight British citizens have sadly lost their lives) and many have opened their homes to some of the millions of Ukrainians who were forced to flee the fighting.
“At least 260 have been welcomed by Solihull residents, and I am eternally grateful to those people for all they have done.
“They have been ably supported by many people at the Council but on this occasion, I will single someone out for special praise. Dajana Vasilj, our new communities and resettlement lead, was given the Mayoral Award for Outstanding Service to the Public at Solihull Council’s staff awards.
“This special award was prompted by compliments received from members of the public about the work she had done in her role supporting our residents and their Ukrainian guests, and I’d like to publicly thank her for that work here.”
He also backed the promises made by the UK Government to give the Ukrainians the support they need to keep fighting as long as is necessary.
Coun Courts said: “I hope that this time next year, I’ll be able to write a positive message.
“One that celebrates Ukrainian’s successful defence of their country.
“If that cannot be the case, then I know that our support, our friendship, and our human compassion for the people of Ukraine will be as strong then as it is now.”